WISE: Wide-Field Infrared Survey ExplorerWISE HomeWISE: Wide-Field Infrared Survey ExplorerWISE: Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer
Mission Science News & Events Education & Outreach Multimedia Gallery For Astronomers
WISE: Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer
    WISE Home
WISE Multimedia Gallery Images
Movies & Simulations
WWT Guided Tour
WISE Multimedia Gallery

Download Options:

small (34K) 400 x 200 JPEG
medium (118K) 800 x 400 JPEG
large (538K) 1600 x 800 JPEG
original (64.3M) 12870 x 6450 TIFF


WISE Multimedia Gallery

Packaged Image:

The green colored cloud at the center of the image is the emission nebula SH 2-235.

Download Options:

Packaged image (3M) 2400 x 3000 JPG

Packaged image (24M)
8 x 10 in. PDF




Multimedia Gallery

WISE All-Sky Map

A map of the portion of the sky covered by the preliminary release of WISE data. There are links to the several constellations and objects. Link to page describing Lambda Orionis. link to a WISE page describing Rho Ophiuchi Link to Heart and Soul Nebula Link to a page describing the Coronet Cluster and NGC6723 Link to a page describing M81 and M82 Link to page describing M83 Link to California Nebula

April 14, 2011 - Mapping the Infrared Universe: Part 1

This image is a map of the portion of the sky covered by the preliminary release of WISE data. WISE surveyed the entire sky in four infrared wavelengths in 2010. On April 14, 2011, the WISE team released data representing 57 percent of the sky as seen by WISE. This preliminary release will allow astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts worldwide to explore the sky as seen by WISE. It will also allow the WISE team to apply any lessons learned to the final release of the data next year that will cover the whole sky.

The sky can be thought of as a sphere that surrounds us in three dimensions. To make a map of the sky, astronomers project it into two dimensions. Various methods are used to project 3-D objects into 2-D maps, but the projection used in this image of the sky is called Aitoff, named after the geographer who invented it. It takes the 3-D sky sphere and slices open one hemisphere, and then flattens the whole thing out into an oval shape. Any projection creates distortions, so people often pick the projection type based on the where in the projection the distortions are minimal. This map is centered on the Milky Way Galaxy. The plane of the Galaxy runs along the equator, and the middle of the Galaxy is at the center of the map, where projection distortions are minimal.

The gray regions are the part of the sky not available in the preliminary WISE data release. For the regions with data, the colors used are representational: blue and cyan (blue-green) represent data from the 3.4- and 4.6-micron detectors aboard WISE, and green and red represent data from the 12- and 22-micron detectors. The blue and cyan reveals mostly light from stars, while the green and red come from mostly warm dust.

When viewing the whole sky at once in an image that fits on the typical computer screen, only the largest structures are visible, such as the band of the Milky Way itself. Nevertheless, every WISE image falls somewhere within the oval, and several regions that have appeared in WISE Featured Images are highlighted here. Clicking on the region will take you to the corresponding featured image.  On the far left, in the plane of the Milky Way is the Heart and Soul nebula pair. Also, near the Heart and Soul, but beneath the plane of the Milky Way is the California nebula. Up above the plane of the Milky Way on the left is the dancing pair of galaxies, M81 and M82. The bright green nebulous area above the center of the Milky Way is the Rho Ophiuchi region. Above and to the right of Rho Ophiuchi is the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as M83.  Below the center of the Milky Way Galaxy are two star clusters near and far: the Coronet Cluster and NGC 6723. On the far right, just below the plane of the Milky Way is the constellation Orion, and this week’s featured image, the Lambda Orionis Loop.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team

    Return to Image Index  
Last updated 3/22/12 © UC Regents